Santa Rosa company buys bankrupt Cosentino Winery

Vintage Wine Estates in Santa Rosa continues to expand, scooping up a Napa Valley winery that collapsed into bankruptcy last fall.

The Santa Rosa company purchased Cosentino Winery near Yountville, giving it a prime location along Highway 29 in Napa Valley.

The purchase price was not disclosed, but people familiar with the deal said it was between $8 million to $9 million.

Vintage Wine Estates is owned by a small group of investors who are bucking the trend of the down market, when many wineries are downsizing or looking to sell assets due to weakened demand for high-end wines.

"I think the market is going to be tough for another year or two," said Pat Roney, president of Vintage Wine Estates. "But we're still looking to expand. There are opportunities."

Cosentino Winery becomes the company's third winery facility and its eighth wine brand, joining Sonoma Coast Vineyards, Stonefly Vineyards and Windsor Vineyards. It also has winemaking facilities at Girard Winery in Yountville and Grove Street Winery in Healdsburg.

The company plans to build a fourth winery, Windsor Sonoma Winery, on Westside Road next year.

Vintage Wine Estates specializes in direct-to-consumer wine sales and purchases most of its grapes from growers to produce its estimated 500,000 cases annually. It has remained financially healthy by focusing on value, Roney said.

Cosentino Winery, which was founded in 1980, began running into financial problems in 2008, according to people familiar with the situation. The company's debt blossomed, and it filed for bankruptcy and closed the winery in November.

Vintage Wine Estates purchased the winery and most of its assets including inventory and some equipment on Dec. 30 from Cosentino's former lender, Physicians Reciprocal Insurers. Some of the wine inventory remains encumbered with about $800,000 in liens filed by growers, Roney said.

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